Thu | Jul 29, 2021

Earth Today | Nepal-based centre becomes 7th regional implementing entity of Adaptation Fund

Published:Thursday | February 25, 2021 | 12:15 AM
Gabion wall protecting households from flooding during peak monsoons in Kalika Village of Dailekh district in midwestern Nepal.
Gabion wall protecting households from flooding during peak monsoons in Kalika Village of Dailekh district in midwestern Nepal.

THE NUMBER of regional organisations that can access climate finance from the Adaptation Fund has increased to seven, following an intersessional board decision this month to accredit the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) as a regional implementing entity (RIE) of the Fund.

ICIMOD’s accreditation puts the total number of the Fund’s implementing entities that can seek funding to develop and implement concrete adaptation and resilience projects in vulnerable developing countries at 53.

ICIMOD is the first RIE in continental Asia to achieve accreditation with the Fund – from which countries, including Jamaica, have benefitted – and is particularly strategic in dealing with potentially dire impacts of climate change on the region, including glacial melt, loss of biodiversity, and decreased water availability. An intergovernmental knowledge and learning institution based in Kathmandu, its core pillars include hands-on research, piloting solutions, working with governments to implement policies, and mountain advocacy at the global level.

It serves the eight countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya region (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan). The region is the source of 10 large Asian river systems, which provide ecosystem services, livelihoods and water to approximately 1.9 billion of the world’s population.

“For ICIMOD as an intergovernmental organisation serving the eight countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayas, we are delighted to get accredited as a regional implementing entity of the Adaptation Fund,” said Dr Pema Gyamtsho, director General of ICIMOD. “It is indeed a great milestone for us, and I am sure that the accreditation will go a long way in furthering our work on adaptation and building resilience to the ever-increasing impacts of climate change in our region. We are honoured by this recognition and we shall make every endeavor to contribute to the goals of the Adaptation Fund.”

“We are very pleased with the accreditation of ICIMOD. It will help further the work of the Adaptation Fund, particularly in mountain regions that are vulnerable to glacial melt, floods and water insecurity,” said Adaptation Fund Board Chair Ibila Djibril.

In making its recommendation to the board for approval, the Fund’s independent accreditation panel determined that ICIMOD is a sound and strong fiduciary organisation with a long-standing record of project implementation roles and a good track record of effective collaboration with a network of implementing and executing partners in the region, as well as with global strategic and research partners that it can draw.

“The Adaptation Fund has several projects in this region, and the accreditation of ICIMOD will help build upon that work and expand it into additional vulnerable areas that are in urgent need of adaptation solutions. Climate impacts on floods and water security are often transboundary, and one of the advantages of ICIMOD is its ability to implement regional projects, in addition to ones focused on individual countries,” said Mikko Ollikainen, manager of the Adaptation Fund.

The accreditation is timely in that the issue of glacial melt is a growing concern among mountainous countries impacted by climate change. Sudden glacial lake outburst floods have become more dangerous as ice melts in the Himalayas and other mountainous regions. For example, a deadly flash flood in Uttarakhand, India, in early February of this year was linked to an avalanche and melting glaciers.

The Adaptation Fund has financed several projects that are aimed at reducing flood risks and improving early-warning systems, including in the mountainous area of Pakistan and others, and the accreditation of ICIMOD should help complement and expand work in this sector.